PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A peaceful protest in Portland against racial injustice turned violent early Sunday after baton-wielding police used flash-bang grenades to disperse demonstrators throwing bottles, cans and rocks at sheriff’s deputies near downtown’s Justice Center, police said.
Portland police and Multnomah County sheriff’s deputies arrested several people after a group of protesters pulled down a fence cordoning off the center, tossed objects including fireworks at officers and ignored repeated warnings to disperse, police said in a statement. It said some people shined lasers into the eyes of deputies.
Officers used “crowd control munitions” to clear an area west of the center, which has been a flashpoint for conflicts between demonstrators and police.
The confrontation occurred after protesters demonstrated peacefully for several hours late Saturday in Chapman Square on the Justice Center’s west side. Some protesters tried to re-erect parts of the fence torn down by others.
KOIN-TV reports the demonstration was the 23rd consecutive day of protests against police brutality and racism.